Principal Investigator

Mark Tester

Professor, Plant Science; Associate Director, Center for Desert Agriculture

Research Interest: Salinity tolerance, Ion transport, Crop science, Plant physiology

Postdoctoral Fellows

Dongryung Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interest: Salinity tolerance

Elodie Rey

Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interest: Crops, Genomics, Transcriptomic, polyploidy, Domestication, stress resillience

Gordon Wellman

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Research Interest: Plant Abiotic stress tolerance, Transcriptomic, Genome sequencing, Salinity, Biotechnology

Research Scientists

Rita Bartossek

Research Scientist

Research Interest: Biotechnology, metagenomics as tool for analysis of novel enzymes of complex communities, microbial ecology, comparative genomics, next generation sequencing, adaptation to extreme environments in plants

Ryan Lefers

Agriculture Engineer

Research Interest: Food/water/energy nexus, controlled environment agriculture, saltwater-based agriculture, aquaponics, horticulture lighting, circular agriculture systems

Vanessa Melino

Research Scientist

Research Interest: Crops, Nitrogen, Nitrate transport, Root architecture, Salinity, Suberin

PhD Students

Clara Stanschewski

Ph.D. Student

Research Interest: Plant genetics, Plant Phenotyping, Genome-Wide Association studies, Genotype x environment interactions, Plant domestication, Climate change

Nathaly Ortiz

Ph.D. Student

Research Interest: Grafting, salinity tolerance, tomatoes, polyploids

Research Group Staff

Bhagya Girjia

Lab Support Technician

Research Interest: Women's health, Cardiovascular & Neuro physiology

Dinara Utarbayeva

Greenhouse Technician

Research Interest: Crossing, grafting tomatoes, germination and propagating coarctata rice

Gabriele Fiene

Research Specialist

Research Interest: Salinity tolerance, Domestication, Field trails, Crop wild relatives

Hongwei Ren

Greenhouse Technician

Research Interest: Salinity tolerance, tomato

Noha O. Saber

Lab Technician

Research Interest: Salinity tolerance, Molecular biology

Rameesha M. Parambil

​Lab Technician at the Salt Lab
Research Group: Mark Tester